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Audit finds most US dioceses now comply with protocols


The international media is filled with reports this morning on the release of the US Bishops' first report on the sex abuse protocols.

Jerry Filteau of the Catholic New Service (an agency of the US Catholic Bishops' Conference) summarises the report:

By the end of 2003, nearly 90 percent of U.S. Catholic dioceses were in compliance with the bishops' national policy to protect children and respond to clergy sexual abuse of minors, according to the first national audit report released Jan. 6.

On most elements the report said 98 percent to 100 percent of audited dioceses were judged to be in compliance with the 17-article "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" adopted by the bishops in June 2002.

There were only two mandates on which compliance was lower than 98 percent: having comprehensive safe environment programs in place throughout the diocese (91 percent), and conducting background checks on all church employees and volunteers who work with minors (93 percent). Most of the dioceses not in compliance were under instructions to make changes in two or more areas.

Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Ill., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the report "indicates that the Catholic dioceses and eparchies (Eastern-rite dioceses) of the United States have put a tremendous effort into making the charter very much a part of the life of the church since the (June 2002) Dallas meeting."

He noted in an introduction to the report that the audit process also uncovered areas not foreseen in Dallas. "And so the report contains valuable general recommendations for further strengthening the church's response to the sexual abuse crisis in all its dimensions," he said.


SOURCE - FULL STORY:
CNS - Audits find most dioceses now comply with bishops' sex abuse norms

THE REPORT ITSELF:
USCBC - Office of Child & Abuse Protection Report

SOME OF THE REPORTS AND FEEDBACK IN THE SECULAR MEDIA:
AP/USA Today - Audit: Most Catholic bishops carrying out reforms; victims condemn report
Reuters - Catholic Church Cites Progress on Sexual Abuse
BBC - Report backs US Catholic bishops
CNN - Audit: Church makes progress fighting sex abuse
Newsday - Abuse Survivors Slam Bishops' Report



7 Jan 2004